American Pie 2.2, or, The Lament of a Self-Made Misesian

A long long time ago

I can still remember

How those data used to make me smile

And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make regressions dance

And maybe they’d be happy for a while


But mainstream methods made me shiver

With every paper I’d deliver

Bad news on the doorstep

I’d lost the balance of my pep

I can’t remember if I cried

When I read about his widowed bride

But something touched me deep inside

The day that Mises died




So, bye-bye Old Austrian Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee

But the levee was dry

Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye

Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

This’ll be the day that I die


Did you write a note on Human Action

And can you still get praxeological traction

If Hans Hoppe tells you to

And do you believe in the Action Axiom

Have you maintained it sans retraction

In pure deductions anyone can view


Well I know that you’re in love with Menger

‘Cause I see that you treat him like a rock-star singer

You say you like his utility

But you only dig it marginally

I was a lonely teenage freedom freak

With a pink carnation and a logical streak

But I knew I was up a creek

The day that Mises died

I started singin’




Now for forty years we’ve been on our own

And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone

But that’s not how it used to be

When Hayek sang for the King and Court

But his song was not the neoclassical sort

Though he climbed partway up on Popper’s tree


Oh, but while sweet Lou was looking down

Fritz Hayek stole his thorny crown

The courtroom was adjourned

No verdict was returned

And while Rothbard read Higgs’ book on a lark

Hermeneuticians practiced in the park

And we sang dirges in the dark

The day that Mises died

We we’re singin’




Helter skelter in a summer swelter

Keynes’ ghost flew off with a fallout shelter

Eight miles high and falling fast

It landed foul on the grass

The players tried for an RBC pass

With Samuelson on the sidelines in a cast


Now the half-time air was sweet perfume

While Lucas and Sargent played a rational tune

We all got up to dance

Oh but we never got the chance

‘Cause the real world tried to take the field

The RE theorists refused to yield

Do you recall what was revealed

The day that Mises died

We started singin’




Oh, and there we were, all in one place

A bunch of old economists lost in space

With no time left to start again

So come on, Krug be nimble, Krug be quick

Krugman sat on a candlestick

‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend


Oh, as I read him on the op-ed page

My hands were clenched in fists of rage

No angel born in Hell

Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames of private wealth lit the night

Bernanke performed the sacrificial rite

I saw Wall Street laughing with delight

The day that Mises died

I was singing




I was a man who sang the blues

Best known for pessimistic views

Then I just smiled and said adieu

I paid a visit to GMU

Where they said mere Mises would not do

And went to war upon the Auburn crew


And in the streets the students screamed

Professors sobbed and think thanks dreamed

And though many a word was spoken

The church bells all were broken

And the three men in the midst of this flurry

Ludwig, Fritz, and my old friend Murray

They seemed to be in no great hurry

The day that Mises died

And they were singin’




Bye-bye Old Austrian Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee

But the levee was dry

Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye

Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

This’ll be the day that I die



(With apologies to Don McLean. For version 2.1, go here.)

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Editor at Large of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.
Beacon Posts by Robert Higgs | Full Biography and Publications
  • Catalyst